'Pokémon Sword and Shield' Won't Include Every Single Pokémon

According to new leaks, there have been a hefty amount of Pokémon cut from the upcoming Sword and Shield games. Here's what to expect.


Mar. 12 2021, Updated 1:18 p.m. ET

Pokemon Sword and Shield
Source: Nintendo

Pokémon Sword and Shield, the series' first main entries on Nintendo Switch, are headed to the system in just two weeks. Following Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu and Eevee! this will be the first time a core game has arrived on the console. 

However, there's a lot that's changing about what many fans recognize as "classic" Pokémon with these two games. One change, as such, is the fact that not every single Pokémon you know is coming to the game.

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Thanks to a series of leaks floating around about the game, we now have an idea of what to expect from the game. Beware, however, as there are plenty of potential spoilers ahead. Even if we can't independently confirm whether these leaks are real or legitimate, they still have the possibility of being so, and you don't want to risk it! 

Just skip over if you're concerned! Nov. 15 isn't that far off!

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What Pokémon were cut from Sword and Shield?

According to a massive series of leaks via the gaming forum ResetEra, it looks like there were a lot of Pokémon cut from the game, namely a lot of the original 151 Pokémon first seen in Red and Blue — the same ones that most people are excited about getting their hands on again. In fact, out of the 800+ Pokémon available, over 400 have been removed.

This handy chart created by a savvy ResetEra user named Joseki illustrates the severity of the situation. Green Pokémon will be included in the game, orange Pokémon will appear only as Galar versions of themselves, and white Pokémon will be missing entirely. 

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Source: ResetEra

As such, here are the new Pokémon that you can expect within the game, according to ResetEra user Atheerios

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Source: ResetEra

As these new charts illustrate, it's easy to see how many of the classic Pokémon starters have been removed from the game. There's only one trio of them left, in fact: Charmander, Charmeleon, and Charizard. Meanwhile, the Pokémon they're being replaced with are pretty out there, including one that looks like an apple and even an ie cube with a body. 

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It's going to be interesting to see how many of these leaks come true, and indeed how many Pokémon have been removed from the game from the original listing of monsters. However, there's a lot to be excited about when it comes to the game as well. 

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Why the massive changes? Sword and Shield producer Junichi Masuda noted the difficulty in balancing the Pokémon in a recent interview. 

"We need to be able to prioritize new gameplay ideas," Junichi told Polygon. "We need to be able to find a way to balance the right number of Pokémon and also still introduce new ways for players to enjoy the game, new gameplay ideas to keep the series fresh and enjoyable far into the future."

Pokémon Sword and Shield are set to debut on Nintendo Switch on Nov. 15. Different Pokémon will be available in different versions, and there will be a special edition Switch console that you can pick up to go along with the system. 

Here's to seeing your favorite Pokémon in-game!

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